Sales Force Effectiveness - How to Balance Customer Centricity and Shareholder Value

For years banks have been using sales performance measures that overweight economic metrics and short-term shareholder return, but ignore the customer experience and long-term relationship economics. This applies not only to how a bank pays its sales force, but also to how it sets goals and measures for the overall institution. Much of this can be explained by a perceived tension between customer centricity and shareholder return (i.e., bank economics) that stems from the belief that they are mutually exclusive, as opposed to reinforcing. We believe that maximizing shareholder value actually requires keeping customer centricity and shareholder return in equilibrium.

In this paper, we identify five common organizational tendencies that can reduce sales force effectiveness and upset the balance between customer and shareholder value. We also provide observations on what makes an effective, customer-centric sales performance system as well as its benefits, challenges, and avoidable pitfalls.

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